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Table 4 Comparison of national physical activity recommendations for older adults with the WHO recommendations

From: National physical activity recommendations: systematic overview and analysis of the situation in European countries

Country Inactivity Minimum recommendations Further recommendations
   Duration Combination Frequency Bouts Add. health benefits Strength, balance etc. Overweight
   Moderate intensity Vigorous intensity     
WHO [22] - 150 minutes/week, or be as physically active as abilities and conditions allow 75 minutes/week Explicitly stated Throughout the week At least 10 minutes 300 minutes moderate intensity/week, 150 minutes vigorous-intensity/week, or combination - Persons with poor mobility: activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on 3 or more days/week; - muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days/week -
Austria [27] - 150 minutes/week Be as active as condition allows if minimum recommendations cannot be met 75 minutes/week Explicitly stated On most days of the week At least 10 minutes 300 minutes moderate intensity/week, 150 minutes vigorous-intensity/week, or combination On 2 or more days/week: strength training, balance training -
Denmark [29] - At least 30 minutes - - Daily - More activity will have additional health benefits - Activities to maintain and enhance muscle strength and fitness at least twice/week for 20 minutes - Balance and stretching twice a week at least 10 minutes -
Iceland [34] Avoid inactivity and incorporate physical activity into daily life 30 minutes - - Daily For ex. 10-15 minutes More activity can promote further health benefits. In addition to basic recommendations, at least twice a week 20-30 minutes of vigorous activities to promote further fitness. Strength training is especially beneficial for older people -
Ireland [35] - 30 minutes daily or 150 minutes/week Any amount of physical activity gains some health benefits - - 5 days/week At least 10 minutes - Strength and balance training on 2-3 days/week -
Netherlands [38] - 30 minutes at least 5 days/week+ For non-active people, all extra physical exercise is significant, regardless of intensity, duration, frequency and type 20 minutes 3 times/week - Daily - - - -
United Kingdom [43] Minimize sedentary (sitting) time for extended periods Any amount of activity gains some health benefits. Some activity is better than none, and more activity provides greater benefits. 150 minutes (2½ hours); one way to approach this is 30 minutes on at least 5 days/week 75 minutes Explicitly stated Daily (MPA)Spread across the week (VPA) At least 10 minutes - Strength training on at least 2 days/week Older adults at risk of falls: balance and coordination training on at least 2 days/week -
  1. +Adherence to either the moderate- or vigorous intensity recommendation, not a combination.
  2. -Aspect not mentioned in the recommendations. MPA = moderate physical activity; VPA = vigorous physical activity.